Assistant Secretary Manisha Singh on the POWER Initiative

On March 3, 2020, the Meridian Corporate Council partnered with FedEx to host The Honorable Manisha Singh, Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, to discuss collaborating with the private sector on the Bureau-led POWER initiative, and women’s economic empowerment. This conversation was held at a relevant moment; at the beginning of Women’s History Month, and amidst other Meridian-hosted convenings and dialogues focused on womensuch as the welcoming of the International Women of Courage (IWOC) awardees to campus as part of their International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) exchange 

Assistant Secretary Singh was confirmed to her role in November 2017, as the first woman to the position. She now leads over 200 employees in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, which is responsible for advancing American prosperity around the world. The Bureau advises on a wide range of topics, including sanctions, technology, trade, innovation, and aviation- areas certainly relevant to corporate leaders. The POWER initiative (Providing Opportunities for Women’s Economic Rise) was formed in 2019 with the goal of supporting women business leaders around the world by identifying partnership opportunities between emerging markets and the U.S. private sector. 

Assistant Secretary Singh remarked that women’s economic empowerment must no longer be considered as a ‘niche’ issue; it should be of widespread concern, as the advancement of women supports economic growth on both a domestic- and worldwide- scale. In the same regard, she emphasized that in terms of the U.S. Government, the economic empowerment of women must be interwoven between agencies rather than only focused on by one Bureau or department. These topics highlight the broad theme of the discussion, which was building a collaborative effort to support women’s economic empowermentAs the conversation narrowed in, a central discussion point was how companies can draw on their specific knowledge sets to bolster the POWER initiativeand a large portion of the session included brainstorming by participants on how their specific industry know-how from a wide variety of sectors might reinforce the POWER initiative.  




Project summary

Assistant Secretary Manisha Singh on the POWER Initiative
Regions: Western Hemisphere
Countries: United States
Impact Areas: Empowering Women and Girls
Program Areas: Diplomatic Engagement
Partners: Private Sector